Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

June is the Make It or Break It Month

Written by SuzyQ

Oh my, so much to say and so little time. For the newbies, June is the make or break month in the MK seminar year and all of the stops are pulled out. The nsd’s may even hit the road for the special “Guest Events” that you will have to pay for, but your guests will be free, and your director will also pay and bring a beautifully wrapped gift (current products only please.) You will at the very least receive really perky email missives from your director urging to “stretch” this month.

Stretch means ordering even if you don’t need to, but it’s all for the unit! Don’t you want to see your unit become a Cadillac unit, or a top director trip unit, or a Circle of Achievement unit? Seriously, it is so way cool and your director will blow kisses to you from the seminar stage and mouth “ I love you! You are just the most awesome unit!” and golly, what a thrill that is for YOU! If your director is allowed to speak, she will thank God for these last minute miracles, although, last time you checked, it was YOUR credit card with the new charge on it.

You do know of course, everything you do for the unit only helps your director and NSD don’t you? It’s all about production and recruits. You are a cog in a wheel that you can’t control and receive no benefit. I mean, what was the view for the people rowing under the deck? That’s you. You are the fuel. When you are burned up, more fuel is obtained from another source. You are dispensable. Really. You matter so long as you order and recruit. Stop that, and you are no longer useful.

And let’s finish that star, shall we? Order more, more, more! The star prizes are worth so little compared to what you have to order to get them, but people still order the extra $600 or $1000 to “finish star.” Why? For a piece of “sapphire colored” glass in your ladder of success? (Maybe, ladder of “Sucker” would actually be more accurate.) For a cheap prize? For a name badge ribbon, that you will only receive if you go to seminar? Can you justify, rationally, realistically, adding $1,200 to your inventory? Have you been in MK long enough to try to book classes in the summer? When working parents add day care to the list of child care expenses? Have you booked and held 2 classes per week ever? Think you are going to do that this summer? You won’t. Trust me.

You can trust me because I know. I did this MK thing for 10 years, 9 as a director. I was so pink, I would have pooped pink if asked. I was a lifer. I let more professional credentialing go than some people earn in a lifetime. I let it go. I was told repeatedly that if I didn’t burn my professional bridges, I would never be successful in MK.

Think about that.

I listened and believed that advice. Did I say I had a couple of advanced degrees and around 18 initials after my name? Did I remind you that I was no spring chicken so naiveté could not be used as an excuse? I was a lifer. I was NSD material. You should see the plans I had for my family. My dream house. My fantastic life, just for doing my job by offering this opportunity to other women who “got it.”

Wanna talk about financial ruin? I am the poster child for bad choices. You know that line, “personal debt is bad, business debt is good?” I was told that so often, I ended up believing it. Wanna talk about classic symptoms of depression? You know the one when you wake up at 4 AM and you can’t breathe because you are so scared? When you check your limit on your credit cards to see if you have enough on at least one for groceries?

The lesson here is that debt is debt. It doesn’t matter if it’s a deduction or not. It is debt, and you know what? The creditors want their money. Lesson here: great credit gives you huge amounts on credit cards… I had two that had a $30,000 limit. In hindsight, I should have thrown up and shredded them. I had more than two though, I had more than I care to admit. I had great credit. Had is the operative word here. It took me years to rebuild. And can I just say how much I like that little thingy on my shredder that is made for credit cards? Way cool.

I am not a stupid woman, and I listened to people I trusted and thought I loved and would “do life with” for years. I didn’t listen to the people who were trying to reach me with concern; I perceived them as negative and as “icking on my wow.” I beat myself up continually for not being good enough, not working hard enough, not believing enough, not having a high enough deserve level, not trusting God, not following His plan for me, not talking to enough sharp women, not doing all I could do to motivate my unit, not believing in myself. I saw women who were like me and they were successful and I wasn’t. And it was all my fault.

Mary Kay was my life. I just needed more time. I needed quality recruits. Everyone who started a MK business would not succeed without $3,600 in initial inventory. All newbies had to become red jackets within the first month, and then move up the career path as quickly as possible. All I needed was a plan, and if nothing else, MK has the plan. 1000 days to NSD.

Except it wasn’t happening. And then, I heard a rumor about a director in my state who was KICKED OUT OF MARY KAY. OMG. I googled her name and read the newspaper article and comments. She cheated. And got caught. One thing lead to another, and I googled “Negative Mary Kay” expecting nothing, because I was told repeatedly there was nothing negative about MK on the internet, and started reading Mary Kay Sucks AKA Pink Truth. And the rest, as they say, was history.

I read my story, and I hadn’t written it yet. I thought I was the only one. I learned I was one of many. Brave souls were here who were wiling to be honest and lay it all out for me and the others who found the site. I was going to learn from their mistakes and do it correctly. I learned that was not possible. I can’t tell you how devastated and betrayed I felt. The death of my MK dream felt like a real death. I worked my way out of MK fairly quickly, fairly ineffectively and really embarrassing publicly.

So, two plus years out later, how is it? Peaceful, prosperous, and wonderful. I learned good things from MK and have incorporated them into my life, and the bad stuff is gone. I am amazed that a few of my director (former best) friends are STILL playing this game that cannot be won. They are still driving “free” cars, although they have co-pays. They are not making money. There haven’t been star orders in a long time. Newbies are buying showcases without initial orders. I can’t remember the last time one of them reached the end of the month with an order or two on hold due to a credit card denial. They are all turning the corner anytime, and looking ahead at their best month/year EVER. Our wanna be NSD is too old now to get it wrapped up. She has no paid health insurance and at 60-something has no retirement. She’s gone from exec to senior sales director. And is stuck there. These women are waiting and praying for the cream to rise from skim milk.

And that, dear newbie (and seasoned consultants who “accidentally stumbled onto this site”) is the way it is. We have a saying around these parts,” When you are ready, you will find us.” It’s a great site, so much information, and you will read your story YOU haven’t written on here, too. Why are the people who are out of MK hang around on here? Our critics say that we can’t move on. We know different. We stay because our stories have helped others, and PT gives us the opportunity to present the same play to a new audience every day. BTW *wave to MK corporate* Think about doing something that will actually help the sales force.

And hear my heart, consultants—-you do NOT need to order in June! It’s all about someone else, it’s not about what YOU need. Seriously.


  1. Parsonsgreen

    SuzyQ – this is an excellent article that should be must reading for anyone thinking of signing up with Mary Kay!

    Also, all this rush to get the year done in June – but your copays and unit volume are still the same every month after that! The cycle continues!

  2. morningstar

    This may be a good time to remind others that Sephora has teamed up with Kohls for improved sales. Who can MK now team up with? YOU, the end user.

    Sadly, the marketing structure in MK leaves MK out in the cold for corporate level partnerships. Counting on YOU to place that order!

  3. pinkpeace

    SuzyQ, this article is terrific! It took me a good 4-5 years out of directorship to not automatically get a sick feeling every time June rolled around. For every one of my 10+ years of being a director, it was the most stressful time of any year. Right when I should have been enjoying graduations, weddings, vacations, etc. I was instead desperately trying to find production to finish out my (impossible) Mary Kay goals. Director lurkers, one of the VERY BEST parts about leaving Mary Kay is the ability to enjoy June again.

    1. OnelessSD

      Oh Amen! My wedding anniversary is at the end of May… so when my hubby would want to take a trip somewhere to celebrate…. I always felt I couldn’t go.. due to the yr end. How sad is that! Just got back from a wonderful anniversary vacation… it’s been almost 13 yrs since being a director… so wonderful to have it not even cross my mind anymore! Love being free!

      1. KaybotSibling

        I know someone who’s wedding anniversary is June 30th. Every year she works that entire day until 2am and thanks her husband for letting her do it. I thought it was God first, FAMILY second, MK THIRD. It is so sad and it breaks my heart.

    1. Brainwashed no more

      Bullying may be the wrong word but guilt and manipulation is there. I would get almost every month calls from my former friend and former director. Same message but different words about placing an order. She would tell me that she knew I would sell the products. One month it’s for her car. Other months it’s in my best interest to help her get to her goal. I was reminded that if she loses her Directorship we would go to her Director who would hassle us more often for orders with lots of pressure. I yelled at her one time that I am sick of these calls asking me to place orders. So she stopped. I left soon after.

      1. BestDecision

        Oh, we were absolutely manipulated and then learned we had to do that ourselves to keep our title, car, or unit. Everything is tied to ordering, not actual sales.

        Was anyone else taught how our income would TRIPLE once we became a Director? Remember that whole phase??

      2. Destiny Angel

        Every couple of months my sister in law complains because one or another of her MLM friends needs a pity purchase for some reason or another.
        A couple have been bold enough to reach out to me and got a “nah dude” response on FB. I get to play with their up-lines sometimes. If I’m in the right mood it can be fun. Normally I block them.

  4. Dizzy Illusioned

    Your story could have been mine had I stayed director. I’m mortified that while my husband was deployed and making really good money, I spent it on inventory that I thought would “fly off of my shelf”. It is still sitting there. Our bank account is empty and hubby is very disappointed in me, but not as much as I’m disappointed in myself.

  5. Data Junkie

    “BTW *wave to MK corporate* Think about doing something that will actually help the sales force.”

    That’s easy. Mary Kay can stop selling product to their own consultants…and only pay commissions on sales to outside customers. Inventory stock should be complimentary, since it costs the company so little to produce.

    If Mary Kay did just these three things, they’d protect their consultants from financial ruin.
    But sadly, the corporation itself would go out of business in less than a year, since so little of Mary Kay’s product actually ends up in the hands of outside customers.

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